Filtered By: Aerospace
Filter

Filaments modeled after Earth’s fastest falcon

April 22nd, 2017|Categories: Additive Manufacturing, Energy Efficiency, Engineering|Sectors: , , , , |

Filaments modeled after Earth's fastest falcon

The peregrine falcon is delivering some “real innovation and benefits” to aeronautics researchers in England, where they’re copying the bird’s feathers to 3D print filaments that mimic its ability to sense airflow changes, according to this 3D Printing Industry article. It could help create safer, more aerodynamic, and fuel efficient airplanes.

Curated by Janine Benyus

Mimicking tooth enamel to create the next super material

March 17th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Resilience|Sectors: , , |

Mimicking tooth enamel to create the next super material

This is a perfect illustration of how abstracting the design principle from tooth enamel can lead to a novel material for plane hulls. Structural materials of most transportation devices have the same functional needs (e.g. strength, manage vibration, crack resistant) as tooth enamel, so abstracting the strategy helped a team at the University of Michigan emulate the tooth’s secret to success. According to this Gizmondo article, they used only using metal and polymer, rather than calcium and protein.

Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Honeybee hexagons and the 100x factor

February 24th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Honeybee hexagons and the 100x factor

Even tried and true lessons from nature still yield a myriad of benefits. Ford tapped into the multi-functionality of the hexagons of bees to yield an incredible strength to weight ratio of 100x in the trunk of their Ford EcoSport, according to this Sustainable Brands article. There are hundreds of other lightweighting strategies yet to be tapped into—good news in an era of material frugality.

Dayna-01Curated by Dayna Baumeister

New technology could help us emulate nature’s brilliant shapes

February 4th, 2017|Categories: Additive Manufacturing, Architecture, Carbon, Energy Efficiency, Engineering, Materials, Product Design, Structures, Textiles, Water|Sectors: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

New technology could help us emulate nature’s brilliant shapes

The key to many of nature’s strategies is using shape rather than material. Emulating those shapes, especially at the nano-scale, has proven challenging. This new platform technology has the potential to leverage the shape of nature’s surface textures to add functionality to a wide variety of surfaces by building from the bottom up.

Dayna-01Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Looking to nature for self-shaping ceramics

January 28th, 2017|Categories: Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , , |

Looking to nature for self-shaping ceramics

Ceramics play key roles in everything from massive engines to microelectronics. Achieving the particular shapes needed for these functions without compromising structural integrity has been a challenge for ceramics manufacturing. Now, thanks to the inspiration of the self-folding design principles in plant seeds, scientists have developed innovative processing for controlling the shape of industrial ceramics. Read more in this Nature article.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Flying squirrels far outperform airplanes

January 12th, 2017|Categories: Engineering|Sectors: |

Flying squirrels far outperform airplanes

Flying squirrels have a furry wing membrane that spans from its neck to forelimbs and back to its hind legs. This loose skin helps flying squirrels to prolong jumps from tree to tree and allows for softer landings. Once thought to be passive gliding, scientists have discovered that a flying squirrel use a dozen separate flight-control techniques and aerodynamic modifications, according to this BioGraphic article. What’s more, they should be stalling at 60-degree angles, as a plane would. How these little furry creatures disregard basic aerodynamic constraints could lead to new kinds of flight control or flying vehicles.

Robyn-01Curated by Robyn Klein

Hummingbirds provide new way of looking at navigation

July 24th, 2016|Categories: Product Design|Sectors: , , , , |

Hummingbirds provide new way of looking at navigation

Another amazing adaptations from the wonderful hummingbird has been discovered by scientists, according to this New Scientist article. The “collision avoidance system” built into their brains could help us understand how to engineer better navigation systems, that allow vehicles and aircraft to go faster without crashing–just like a hummingbird.

Janine-01Curated by Janine Benyus

Nature’s colors don’t need chemical pigment

July 7th, 2016|Categories: Carbon, Energy Efficiency, Engineering, Materials, Product Design, Structures|Sectors: , , , , , , |

Nature’s colors don’t need chemical pigment

Many of nature’s colors are borne of scattered light rather than chemical pigment. Perhaps the most elegant and ornate of nature’s complex periodic structures that produce brilliant colors is the gyroid responsible for bright green in the Emerald-patched Cattleheart and Green Hairstreak butterflies, as demonstrated in this Nature Materials article. Mimics of biological gyroid structures could lead to lightweight, effective materials for applications in the automobile or aeronautical industries, and perhaps for optical energy harvesting.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Butterfly wings inspire better optical communications

June 5th, 2016|Categories: Energy Efficiency|Sectors: , , , |

Butterfly wings inspire better optical communications

Green hairstreak butterfly wings amplify green colors due to a repeating pattern of spiral-shaped curls. Researchers replicated this gyroid nanostructureto create a more controlled material, according to this Science News article. Suggested applications include optics and photonics in the visible or near-ultraviolet wavelength region, which could increase the bandwidth of optical communications.

Robyn-01Curated by Robyn Klein

Softening blows with fish scale science

June 3rd, 2016|Categories: Engineering, Structures|Sectors: , , , |

Softening blows with fish scale science

Damage caused by low-velocity impact can cause structural failure. According to this Science Direct paper (available for purchase), fish scales have excellent penetration resistance due to a strain-stiffening response. Thus, their cellular structures help cushion and dissipate impact energy. Why not combine them to protect against low-velocity impact? Overlapping scales with an underlying cellular layers could work together to resist impact.

Robyn-01Curated by Robyn Klein